MANILA, Philippines – The government sustained higher disbursement of funds in May 2018, reaching P292 billion or 12% higher than the P261.7 billion in the same month last year.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, June 27, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno attributed the improved performance to infrastructure and capital outlay spending, as well as to personnel services.
“We continue to make strides in the fiscal sector of the economy, and this is confirmed by the spending data,” Diokno said.
“This should translate to better outcomes in the real economy, that is – more jobs for our people, improved standards of living, and robust economic activity,” he added.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), infrastructure spending reached P58 billion. The figure is P12 billion or 26% higher compared to May 2017.
The DBM attributed this to various infrastructure projects completed under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). These projects include road concreting, widening, and improvement; construction of flood control structures; as well as rehabilitation and repair of roads and bridges.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is another contributor to higher infrastructure spending, with school buildings repaired and rehabilitated.
The Department of Health (DOH) also contributed to the rise with the acquisition of medical equipment and facilities.
Meanwhile, spending for personnel reached P107 billion, 20% higher than May 2017’s P89.7 billion.
The DBM said this was due to the release of the mid-year bonus for government workers, higher pay due to the release of the 3rd tranche mandated under the Salary Standardization Law, and higher compensation for uniformed personnel.
Given the spending pattern, Diokno said the department is confident that 2nd quarter targets will be met.
“We are confident that we will hit our Q2 disbursement targets. In fact, actual disbursements for the 1st quarter exceeded the program, so it’s justified to anticipate good results for the 2nd quarter,” he said.
Under the government’s fiscal program, disbursements for the 2nd quarter of 2018 were pegged at P813.3 billion. Spending for April and May have a combined total of P553.1 billion.
Spending for the 1st quarter of 2018 reached P755.8 billion, exceeding the target by P26.6 billion or 3.5%. – Rappler.com